"Perception is reality" is a phrase that you can often hear in media, marketing and publicity circles, I've worked enough in my other life to know that this is definitely an issue that is pervasive in education. The perceptions students have of subjects and teachers, the perceptions held by parents and even those held by teachers of other schools.
When I secured my job at HPPS some of my colleagues at HNS thought this would be a great fit, they perceived that HPPS would have lots of technology because they were a new school. Technology isn't at the core of HPPS values however, in fact, in my first week the students of LC4 haven't even turned on a device.
LC4 students have been busy doing all sorts of things, there has been a lot of student talk and lots of the traditional pencil and paper. Why wouldn't there be? In terms of collaboration and convenience pencil is quick, we're not worried about saving/sharing work and it gives everyone a chance to participate. Contrast this with my first week the last two years at HNS, I'm positive that I had integrated devices into lessons very early. I'm not suggesting that either of these approaches is better, but it is interesting how the perception of a school has been formed.
I'd enjoyed the integration of technology in the classroom, but it hasn't been without its challenges, many teachers will be familiar with the notion that e-learning needs to have the e removed as the focus should be on learning. I've always supported this idea and our discussions as a team have definitely been towards this end, any integration will be done for the right purposes, using the right tools and for the right reasons, rather than just a shot gun approach.
Our kids definitely like technology, I've had some quite interesting conversations around various tools within our common. But they engage with their learning regardless of its technology content, this tells me that Amy and I are doing the right things at this point.
It will be intriguing to see how technology develops within this learning common. But right now, technology isn't even in our focus.